Spooky, Stingy and Educated

The pinnacles of Strawberry Creek.

Fishing, like a lot of activities, has a certain amount of ritual involved. Sure, you could just go fishing… but wouldn’t it be better to stop at the fly shop and have a word with the fellas? Tell ’em where you’re headed, see what’s fishing well, find out what flies the fish are going for… Part of me always wonders if this is an opportunity to sell off some extra fly inventory, but I do enjoy saying hello to the guys (when I say guys: so far I have only ever met one female fly shop employee), and hear what they have to say.

Last weekend we asked about Soldier Creek and Strawberry Pinnacles (both of which are destinations on the Strawberry River), and Currant Creek. We were warned of spooky and stingy fish (who were going for tan bodied flies, over here, in this section of the shop).

And no joke, we experienced some spooky fish in the Strawberry River, where the water is so clear, the canyon so beautiful and the fishing access so easy, it was quite a trick to catch a fish unaware. I watched a fish coming up to my fly and then steer quickly away when one of the dogs walked along the river bank. Spooky!

Educated fish is something you hear a fair amount… they might also be described as those fish that happen to live close to an urban center and therefore get a lot more attention.

Stingy fish… I am still puzzling out what that might describe.

My favorite kind of fish are the opportunistic fish that live in the remote little rivers of the West, where there is tricky casting, class five bouldering moves, guaranteed snags, rushing water, deep cold pools, no people, and a super warm sleeping bag in a cozy tent at the end of the day. Plus some whiskey, Singletrack, please. That’s a worthy weekend ritual.

Laurel Hunter

Laurel Hunter

Central Oregon, USA